How to Manage Your WhatsApp Privacy Settings for Better Security

In an era where privacy breaches and security threats are becoming increasingly common, it is imperative to take proactive measures to safeguard our personal information. WhatsApp, one of the most popular messaging platforms worldwide, offers a range of privacy settings to help users fortify their accounts and ensure ironclad security.

This guide aims to help users manage their WhatsApp privacy settings by providing detailed instructions on various features for enhanced protection. With the proliferation of digital communication, understanding why WhatsApp privacy and security settings are important becomes paramount.

Explore How To Manage Your WhatsApp Privacy Settings for Better Security

The potential risks associated with unauthorized access to personal conversations, profile information, or media shared on the platform necessitate a cautious approach toward maintaining confidentiality. By taking advantage of the many available options within WhatsApp’s settings, users can gain better control over who has access to their account details and content.

WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption, but additional security settings, such as two-step verification, add an extra layer of protection to your account. Two-step verification requires security codes you set up, providing an additional barrier against unauthorized access.

Why WhatsApp privacy settings are important?

Here are some key reasons why these settings are important:

  • Protecting personal information
  • Controlling profile visibility
  • Preventing unwanted contacts
  • Securing conversations
  • Protecting shared media
  • Preventing account takeovers
  • Avoiding location privacy issues

How to manage your WhatsApp privacy settings for better security

Here are ways to manage WhatsApp privacy for enhanced privacy:

Control who sees your profile photo

To enhance your privacy on WhatsApp, you can choose who has access to view your profile photo. It is essential to be cautious when sharing personal information online, and managing your profile photo visibility is crucial to protecting your privacy.

To hide your profile picture on WhatsApp:

  1. Open WhatsApp and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy.
  3. Choose Profile Photo and select from the available options: Everyone, My Contacts, or Nobody.
To Hide Your Profile Picture on WhatsApp


If you select “Everyone,” anyone using WhatsApp will be able to see your profile picture. If you choose “My Contacts,” only people in your contact list will have access to it. Lastly, by selecting “Nobody,” no one will be able to see your profile photo unless you explicitly share it with them individually or in a group chat.

Hide your last seen and online status

Disable the feature that displays your last seen activity on WhatsApp to enhance your privacy and ensure a secure communication experience. You must have heard someone say, “My ex is stalking me on WhatsApp,” which is quite annoying. Turning off the “last seen” option in your privacy settings can prevent others from knowing when you were last active on the platform. This is particularly useful if you want to maintain a certain level of anonymity or if you do not want others to constantly monitor your online presence.

Here is how to turn off last seen on WhatsApp:

  1. Open the WhatsApp app.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Tap on Privacy.
  4. Select Last Seen.
  5. Choose Nobody.
How to Turn Off Last Seen on WhatsApp

Change who can view your WhatsApp status updates

Changing the visibility of your status updates on WhatsApp allows you to control who can see your updates, promoting a sense of privacy and security. By adjusting the privacy settings in WhatsApp, users can choose who can view their status updates, whether it is everyone, only their contacts, or specific individuals. This feature allows users to share updates with a select group of people while keeping them hidden from others.

To change who can view your WhatsApp status updates:

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Go to Status.
  3. Choose the desired option.
To Change Who Can View Your WhatsApp Status Updates

Disable blue ticks

One way to achieve privacy on WhatsApp is by disabling blue ticks, which are the read receipts that indicate when someone has seen your message. This feature allows individuals to choose when and how they respond without feeling pressured or obligated to reply immediately.

Disabling blue ticks can also help prevent security notifications that may arise from read receipts. By keeping these notifications disabled, users can avoid potential vulnerabilities in their messaging app.

Here is how to turn off blue ticks on WhatsApp:

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Go to WhatsApp Settings.
  3. Click on Privacy.
  4. Scroll down and turn off Read receipts.
How to Turn off Blue Ticks on WhatsApp

Stop people from adding you to groups

Another important aspect of managing your WhatsApp privacy settings for ironclad security is the ability to stop people from adding you to groups without your consent. This feature gives users more control over who can include them in group conversations, ensuring their privacy is respected.
By accessing the privacy settings on WhatsApp, users can choose whether everyone, only their contacts, or nobody can add them to groups. This helps prevent unwanted invitations and ensures that individuals are only a part of relevant and trusted group chats.

Here’s how to stop people from adding you to groups:

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Click on Privacy.
  4. Select Groups.
  5. Choose the desired option.
How to Stop People From Adding You to Groups

Block сontacts

Blocking contacts on WhatsApp maintains control over one’s communication network and ensures a secure and personalized experience. When you block a contact, they are unable to send you messages, call, or see any updates from your account. This protects your privacy and security and prevents potential harassment or unwanted interactions.

Additionally, blocking contacts allows individuals to curate their WhatsApp experience by eliminating unnecessary distractions or disturbances. It provides a sense of control over who has access to personal information and helps create a safer online environment.

Below are some of the ways to block contacts:

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Go to the chat with the contact.
  3. Scroll down and choose Block.
To Block Contacts

Enable disappearing messages

Enabling disappearing messages on WhatsApp helps users enhance their privacy and have more control over their conversations. By utilizing this feature in the WhatsApp privacy settings, users can ensure that their messages are automatically deleted after a designated period, thus reducing the risk of sensitive information being accessed by unauthorized individuals.

Disappearing Messages Enable More Privacy for Those Confidential Conversations


While this feature enhances security, it does not guarantee complete protection against potential threats. Users should still exercise caution when sharing sensitive information and consider other measures to safeguard their privacy online.

Here’s how to enable disappearing messages:

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Go to the chat.
  3. Tap on the contact’s name.
  4. Select Disappearing messages.
  5. Choose the desired option (24 hours, 7 days, 90 days, off).
How to Enable Disappearing Messages

Send disappearing photos using View Once

In addition to enabling disappearing messages, another feature WhatsApp offers to enhance privacy and security is the ability to send disappearing photos using the View Once option. This feature allows users to send photos that the recipient can only view once before they disappear forever.
Disappearing photos ensures that sensitive images are not stored permanently on devices or cloud servers, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access or potential misuse.

Below are steps that can help you send disappearing photos using View Once on WhatsApp:

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Go to the chat.
  3. Tap on the attachment icon (plus or a paperclip).
  4. Choose “Camera” to take a photo or select an existing photo.
  5. Before sending, tap the “1” icon next to the text box for View Once.
  6. Send the photo.
To Send Disappearing Photos Using View Once on WhatsApp

Delete messages for everyone

To further enhance user control over their conversations, WhatsApp offers the option to delete messages for everyone, ensuring that sensitive or unwanted content can be permanently removed from the chat history. This feature allows users to retract messages they have sent within a specific time frame, giving them a sense of security and privacy. Users can prevent recipients from reading potentially compromising information by deleting messages for everyone.

Here’s how to delete messages for everyone on WhatsApp:

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Go to the chat.
  3. Long-press the message.
  4. Tap on Delete.
  5. Choose Delete for Everyone.
How to Delete Messages for Everyone on WhatsApp

Lock WhatsApp with a password

Implementing a password screen lock feature on WhatsApp provides an extra layer of defense, instilling a sense of assurance and safeguarding sensitive conversations from unauthorized access. This feature also allows individuals to set up a unique password, fingerprint lock, or security code, preventing anyone without the correct credentials from opening the app or accessing personal messages.


Choosing a strong password and avoiding easily guessable combinations is essential.

Enable two-step verification

Enabling two-step verification on WhatsApp helps obtain a sense of confidence and ensures that unauthorized individuals cannot access personal messages. By enabling this feature, users can create a six-digit PIN code that will be required whenever they try to verify their phone number with WhatsApp again. This PIN safeguards against potential breaches and unauthorized access to private conversations.

Two-Step Verification Adds a Layer of Security To Your WhatsApp Account

Here’s how to enable two-step verification on WhatsApp:

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Tap on Account.
  4. Select Two-step verification.
  5. Choose Enable.
How to Enable Two-Step Verification on WhatsApp

Frequently asked questions

How do I delete my WhatsApp account?

To delete your WhatsApp account, open the app, go to Settings > Account > Delete my account, and follow the on-screen instructions to confirm the deletion. Keep in mind that this action permanently removes your account and associated data.

Control Who Has Access To Your WhatsApp Account or Private Information With Privacy Settings

Can I hide my online status on WhatsApp?

Yes, you can hide your online status on WhatsApp by adjusting your privacy settings. This feature allows you to maintain privacy and control over who can see when you are actively using the app.

Is it possible to retrieve deleted messages on WhatsApp?

Once you delete messages on WhatsApp, they cannot be retrieved, as the app does not store your chat history on its servers. Make sure to regularly back up your chats if you want to restore them in case of accidental deletion.

Can I back up my WhatsApp chats on the cloud?

Yes, you can back up your WhatsApp chats to the cloud using services like Google Drive on Android or iCloud on iOS. This ensures that you can restore your chat history when switching devices or if you accidentally lose data. You should enable End-to-end Encryption for WhatsApp Backups for more security. No one can intercept the restoration process when cloud backups are end-to-end encrypted.


By implementing the above measures, users can safeguard their privacy and data while using WhatsApp. However, it is important to note that no system is entirely foolproof, so remaining cautious and vigilant is always advised when sharing sensitive information online. With a proactive approach to managing privacy settings, users can enjoy a safer messaging experience on WhatsApp.

Matthew Innes Matthew is an avid technology, security, and privacy enthusiast while also a fully qualified mechanical engineer. I love to see the crossover between these two fields. When he's not working or studying he can be found fishing, playing guitar, playing video games, or building something.
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